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Good For You | Nova Beall

Frances Elaine Keith of Largo celebrates her 100th birthday with an ice cream social

Frances Elaine Keith of Largo recently became one of Pinellas County's centenarians with her 100th birthday Aug. 22. Claire Kanan and Betty Flanary, social club directors of Teakwood Village East, organized an ice cream social event to celebrate.

She was born Aug. 22, 1909, in Allerton, Ill.

Her first job at age 16 as a news reporter with the Urbana Courier paid nine cents a column inch. As a student at the University of Illinois, her second job in the periodical department of the university's library paid 35 cents an hour. Mrs. Keith was proud of the fact she was able to pay her way through college, and could afford the $25 semester tuition, as well as books and clothes. In 1927, she became a member of Delta Zeta Sorority, an organization she is still involved with to this day.

She married James Kennedy in 1926 and the couple had three children. During this time, she was invited to work for the University of Illinois as a receptionist and file clerk in the Home Economics Department. Later, the Illinois Crop Improvement Association offered her a job, which she accepted. She became an assistant manager, a position she held for 31 years.

Mr. Kennedy passed away in 1961. Nine years later, she married George Keith, with whom she shared her life for 25 years.

Mrs. Keith keeps herself busy doing cross stitching, reading novels, completing puzzles and corresponding with her family through e-mail.

Three years ago, she became a member of the Strawberry Tarts of Teakwood Chapter of the Red Hat Society and attends meetings with her daughter.

• • •

Bob and Lois Weber of Palm Harbor celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary with their four children and their families who traveled from Houston, San Diego, Atlanta and Wellington to be with their parents on their special day.

A veteran of World War II, Mr. Weber returned stateside after serving on Tinian Island in the Northern Marianas, the base from which the Enola Gay took to the skies on its historic flight in 1945.

Both attended Ohio's Hiram College. That's where Mr. Weber, then president of the Ball and Chain Club, met his future wife, who served on the Cinderella Dance Committee.

He began his teaching career in New Hampshire, and both he and Mrs. Weber taught school in Ohio before moving to Florida in 1964. Locally, he taught at Belcher Elementary and she was employed at Plumb Elementary where they both worked until retirement.

Mrs. Weber is active in both Tarpon Springs and Palm Harbor garden clubs.

The couple enjoys dancing together at least once a week.

Besides their four children, they have five grandchildren.

• • •

The Rev. William A. Jeffrey, Jr., D.D. and Barbara Ruth Bowles Jeffrey of Safety Harbor marked their 50th wedding anniversary Aug. 22. They plan to celebrate with a cruise or trip this fall.

The Jeffreys married Aug. 22, 1959, at the Immanuel Baptist Church, New Bedford, Mass.

The Rev. Dr. Jeffrey served hospitals throughout New England, including Boston Children's Hospital and Boston's Newington Children's Hospital.

Mrs. Jeffrey retired as a registered nurse with special certification from Mease Countryside Hospital, Safety Harbor.

The couple have three sons and two granddaughters.

• • •

Dale and Irene Southwick of Dunedin celebrated 50 years of marriage with a Baltic cruise and renewed their vows Aug. 23 at St. Alfred's Episcopal Church, Palm Harbor.

Mr. Southwick and the former Irene Horton married Aug. 22, 1959, at Christ Episcopal Church, Henrietta Township, Mich.

He worked 21 years for City Bank and Trust in Jackson, Mich., and retired from Sunbelt Title in 2007, after 34 years in the title insurance business.

She worked for Capitol Airlines in Michigan, and was an adult education teacher in Pinellas County.

The couple came here in August 1974.

Both are volunteers with Hospice of the Florida Suncoast.

They have two sons and a grandson.

To submit an item , write to Nova Beall, 710 Court Street, Clearwater, FL 33756. Fax to (727) 445-4119 or e-mail sbeall@sptimes.com. Good For You includes news of 50th wedding anniversaries, people celebrating their 100th birthday (or more) and young people's noteworthy achievements academically, in the arts or community service. For information or an anniversary form, call (727) 445-4221.

Frances Elaine Keith of Largo celebrates her 100th birthday with an ice cream social 08/25/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, August 25, 2009 6:02pm]
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